Oakland cracking down on illegal dumping with new pilot program

A three-block stretch of East Oakland along 90th Avenue and G Street is an area rated by the city as one of the worst for illegal dumping in the city. Officials are now vowing to crack down with a new pilot program to specifically focus on this one area. 

Volunteers covered the three-block stretch on Monday to remove graffiti and pitch in to clean up the area on Earth Day. 

Authorities towed three abandoned cars and a trailer that was being used as a dumpster. 

"There's no rules on the street. You see everything that the dump won't take," said Ken Houston of the Oakland Beautification Council. 

Neighbors say they're frustrated.

"Morning, noon and night. Weekends. Weekdays. It's not only the dumping, but the unsavory people here," said Jautan Stancill who lives nearby.

Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley says he's heard the complaints and is disgusted by them.

The pilot program includes cleaning up the garbage, getting the community involved in the fight to prevent illegal dumping, and increasing law enforcement patrols and security cameras.

"If we allow folks to get away with illegal dumping with impunity, it's like a sideshow. Bad behavior breeds more bad behavior in our community," said Miley.

"We will have investigators looking at dump piles and increasing patrols for arrests," said Capt Jimmy McGrail of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department.

Oakland says it has at least 100 illegal dumping hot spots.

"It's a plague on our community. We all need to chip in to address it," said Miley.

Oakland has made past efforts to crack down on dumping. But Miley says this time the county and city are bringing in more resources.

State lawmakers are looking to increase the fines and punishment for people who are caught.

"With the dumping, the vandalism, that attracts negative energy. We want to push that energy away," said Houston.  

The plan is to evaluate the program in six months.

If all goes well, officials will then take the program block by block throughout Oakland.